A vicious circle of guilt

We have leisure time and while we watch a film, read a book, go for a walk, go to the cinema, see friends and so on we think about the tasks, chores, work etc we didn’t complete during the non-leisure working time.

Then we get to work, to our tasks, actions and so on and we resent the fact that we did not get relaxed and good leisure time, so we auto-sabotage our work and then the cycle continues because when it’s play time again, we feel guilty.

Often this is on auto-repeat through our lives.

How can we stop this?

Four things I have found that can help. Firstly set a shutdown time at which point work stops whatever until the next morning. Secondly, because of the shutdown, and once we learn to relax, we can separate work and play. Thirdly, when we are working remember the guilt feeling and focus on only the work that is super important first. Lastly, take small simple steps at work that are easy to complete and are not onerous or feel like a chore, that means we’re more likely to do it.

Simple, eh! Well as always it is a journey of getting even better and work in progress.

Four books I’d recommend for this would be Cal Newport’s Deep Work, Neil Fiore’s The Now Habit, Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect and finally Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog.

We all have the same time

I often hear that some people are busier than others ‘I have less time than…’

We all have the same time, it’s 24 hours in each day for every single one of the 7 billion + people on the planet.

It is what we choose to do with it that matters.

Goethe said ‘things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.’

It seems simple, prioritise the things that are most important and do them first. However, without a purpose or meaning, it is hard to prioritise what to do first.

So the less meaning we have, strangely we have less time as we are not focused on anything in particular and we drift. Equally, the more we do many things, the less well we do any of them and then we have no time for the more important.

The more meaning we have, the more purpose, the more productive and intentional we become. So we actually get more done in less time. This frees us up for guilt-free leisure time and less resentful work time.

It is a fantastically self-perpetuating cycle as the more guilt-free leisure time we get, the more productive we are at work, as resentment is removed, and then the more guilt-free leisure we can enjoy.

Our time is completely free every day, it is our choice with what we fill the time with.

The final factor is that things that are of value to us and the world take time to come together, create and spread.

So we have the time we need, as not everything has to be done today.